During the day we get swept up in activity: work, housekeeping, errands, feeding our families, making sure homework gets done, and doctor’s appointments are kept. Then there are the continuous phone calls, email, and text messages to be answered.
Now, you may be thinking I’m going to say something like, “Throw away your schedule and obligations! Group hug!” I’m not. Well, not that first part anyway, because we all have obligations and responsibilities. We do what we need to do to keep things afloat.
By all means, keep things afloat!
What I’m really asking you to do is look at your day to see if you acknowledged what is really important.
Did you smile at your spouse or partner this morning? Or did you complain about it being morning already and rattle off a list of reminders?
Did you embrace your children and look them in the eye before sending them off to school? Or did you shuttle them out the door with a cursory hug and nag about forgetting their coat?
Did you pitch in at work, tracking down answers to questions? Or did you muddle through the day and reply, “not my job,” when someone asked how to make a photocopy?
Did you notice the colors of the sunset on your way home? Or did you ride the bumper of the car in front of you cursing their inability to find the gas pedal?
Did you congratulate yourself for getting dinner on the table? Or chastise yourself for not making it gourmet?
In this gotta-keep-up world, it’s easy to think we don’t have time for anything else. However, focusing on what is really important doesn’t have to take a lot of time. We can sprinkle it throughout our day.
Mostly, it's about connecting. Connecting to our surroundings, to our loved ones, to acquaintances and passersby, to the moment.
It's knowing that every day is a gift, that we should do more than merely survive.
There is a saying I've seen on decorative plaques and online that sums it up best. I like to keep it with me at all times.
If you planted hope today in any hopeless heart
If someone's burden was lighter because you did your part
If you caused a laugh that chased a tear away
If tonight your name is mentioned when someone kneels to pray
Then your day was well spent.
It's not about broad, sweeping changes. It doesn't require you to rearrange your entire day (unless, of course, you feel compelled to do so). Think small.
It can be as simple as making eye contact when someone is speaking to us, smiling when someone enters the room, or saying thank you.
Choose one moment of today to connect. What or who is right in front of you? What task are you doing? Ask yourself, in that one moment, what is really important? Tomorrow choose another moment, then another the day after, and so on.
How much better might you feel at the end of the day?